A shy student of mine

glued together the line

TIME iS a deSpERaTe MoNsTeR

mANufAcTuREd to tRoUbLe tHe COnSCioUs mINd

for a class poetry project.

I told her I planned to borrow it—

the Line, I meant, not TIME.

For poets are famous for stealing

the abstract phrases

left lying around and are seldom paid

to do it so what does it matter?

“Slash the thug-ugly newspaper

headlines bleeding

Rip the slick sticky magazine

slogans screaming.

Chop them out and rearrange them

in random and amazing permutations,”

I said as I endeavored to squelch

the fevered pitch

that issued from my throat.

“Expose the stark profundity

of the dark and strange,

like a modern day Caravaggio

who suffered and painted

the backside of a horse!”

And their eyes glazed over.

A few of them snickered.

The quiet ones hung onto every word.

Then some kid glued a picture of a rapper

to the cover of his math book

and dropped it like a careless bomb

on the desk beside the shy girl,

shooting an explosion of words

in a burst of paper shrapnel

that barely grazed her and scattered

the grubby tiles with the tattered

words of the poem she’ll never write

and that no longer mattered

the utter nonsense of what remained

left crushed beneath the sneakered feet

of the other poets, still asleep

who could not feel her pain.

© 2010 susan beck

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Comments 13 comments

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 4 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

To the shy student of mine: I took some poetic license, as you can see, but both events happened, as you know. Thought you'd get a kick out of the font changes made to look like the Headline Poem project, lol

the shy student of yours :) 4 years ago

I love what you did with my poem, it's comical but meaningful i'm gonna start writting more poetry. I sometimes get inspired and play the lines over in my head but then I never write them down and so I forget them

becca g 5 years ago

i love this, not because of how beautifully you have written it but because I have been in that classroom that lacks appreciation and understanding. Where uniqueness is overlooked and profound simplicity is mocked.

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Thanks everyone for your kind and generous comments. I truly do appreciate the feedback ( as most writers do!) It gives me a sense of accomplishment and a desire to post more hubs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

This is the first thing I've read this Saturday while I'm sipping my hot lemonade and smiling! SF - Though you skipped providing a profile, yet immediately, between your photo and your words, I feel I know you and like you. This poem is amazing - so many features rolled up in it. Thank you!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Wayne sent me also and I think your hub is terrific. Rated up!

CornerStone51 profile image

CornerStone51 6 years ago from Mifflintown, PA

You are a very talented lady indeed.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

your words are the words of someone who speaks her own language - and that is one of the highest standards !

one favor - I have a buddy of mine here at hubpages - Doug Dunnigan - he is a world class photographer (like you) and a great artist (like me???) could you please go and check him out - I WOULD BE HONORED IF YOU DID - and when you're at it - check out the epigramman - that's the cat, I don't know who the homely dude is)

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Like any scribbler, I appreciate the positive feedback (although constructive criticism is ok too) and the referral, which is even better. Thank you Lorlie and thank you Wayne-you made my day again.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Wayne sent me, and am I glad. This is amazing. Thank you for such a poignant piece of writing!

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

I liked the reference to Brion Gysin's cut-up technique that William Burroughs used to great affect when chopping up phrases and words. Rated up - excellent images.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I agree with WB about time. The more desperate we become the less tolerance of time left. I bet those kids must have had fun with that project. I especially loved this line "mANufAcTuREd to tRoUbLe tHe COnSCioUs mINd" it sure does that in spades. Great hub, loved it. Rate it UP for sure. keep hubbing.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

All the time I am reading this piece, I can hear the Chambers Brothers performing "Time Has Come Today" in the background. Time crushes and crunches on our create edges and dulls our sense to the obvious only to focus on the deadline near at hand. One way or the other we all become a slave to time. On the other hand, it is said that time don't mean nothing to a hog. I guess they have crossed over! Thanks for a good hub. WB

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